Travel Tips: What is the Difference Between a Travel Adapter and Travel Converter?

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I often find myself using the terms interchangeably, but they’re not. And knowing which one you need will make your international travels much smoother!

A travel adapter allows your power cord to fit into the power outlet of a different country.

amazon travel adaptor

I personally prefer to carry an “all-in-one” with me. Though it’s a bit bulkier, I know I’ll have the right option for any outlet.

all in one travel adapter

A travel converter changes the electrical output to one your device can handle. Many US devices are 110v while much of Europe is 220v.

amazon travel converter voltage transformer

Plugging in to the wrong voltage, even with an adapter, can fry your electronics, or worse, as in my case many years ago — make your curling iron so hot it actually melts your hair. 🙁

Which do you need?

Use this handy chart to check what voltage and plug your destination(s) use.

Then check your electronics. Many are set to handle voltage from 110v-230v which means you just need an adaptor. Some items, like the curling iron I mentioned above, can only handle 110 unless they’re dual voltage.

Also keep in mind many newer hotels have outlets that accommodate US plugs or complimentary adapters in the room, but if in doubt, contact them to check.


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